December 31:

Have you been unfaithful this year? It doesn't matter. Have you neglected? Abused? Dillied and dallied? Been on and off? It doesn't matter, really.

To have a practice is to have an immediate and long lasting relationship. You may neglect your practice. You may excel in it. But one thing never changes; following a practice sets you apart. Like the shaman who lives apart from the village proper, you observe things from a distanced vantage. It may be isolating but not altogether bad to have access to this knowledge, to this special world. That's one of the goals you have always found promised in your practice, admit it. That and longevity, a vision which "alters not when it alteration finds, nor bends with the remover to remove."

You may be, as some have proven themselves, the very heart and soul of faithfulness. I have a student who, whenever we meet, reads me the tote on his renditions of the Shaolin Ten Roads. "I've done 5,327," he announces proudly. "I'm the healthiest person my age that I know."

But most people are too undisciplined, stressed, non-committal or just plain busy to sustain practices. And repetition or addiction does not a practice make. Exercise twice a week, follow certain TV shows, eat at a certain restaurant every day; read specific popular or obscure authors: a practice is more than this. Some faces of the practice are secrets, some details almost incommunicable. One of my best friends in the arts is approaching the master level in her Kung Fu training. She can barely converse casually about the art which in her case has become so sophisticated. She blurts out things to me which are hard-won secrets. Who else would understand? Yes, a practice is a love and, contrary to what outsiders think, no more a self-love—though it may seem so—than it is a self-love to cleave to your perfect mate. People don't understand that a practice, like being psychically able to tell who is calling you the moment the phone rings, is not something neat that you just pick. It picks you. The only choice is that, having been chosen, you chose to be among the chosen. You may be unfaithful during the year. Or neglect it. Or abuse it. But it doesn't matter once the hand comes out of the hat and the colored stone lies in your open palm signifying that you are here to practice.

December 30: We're on vacation right now but Plum is still operating to take orders. We may post a few notes and thoughts as the year wraps up.

December 26: The enthusiasm with which Karate practitioners and White Crane stylists are investigating their historical connections is really exciting. More and more the roots of Karate are being traced back to, among other influences, the White Crane boxing from Wing Chun, Fukien. Here we have a new, complete series, along with historical notes we've assembled for your edification.

December 24: Please remember to check our new "docket" frequently to see changes we don't always post in the Weblog. In this case we're restocked many Chinese books which have been popular and some times unavailable.

December 23: As many know, Feng Zhi Qiang, was a major martial artist and creator of HunYuan (Primordial) Taiji based in the Chen style. Here is an absolutely beautiful set of books and VCDs from his main disciple, the talented Ma Guan Lin, in a full color format.

December 22: The Southern Praying Mantis comes from completely different roots that its Northern cousin. Here we have some versions of this rare fist.

December 20: We pretty much assumed we would never see more of the "Mandarin Duck" style but there it is: fast legs and flexible movements. Anyway this is probably one of the most famous practitioners of this style with four more examples of this leg-oriented Northern style.

December 19: Neil Ripski's Eight Shadows Drunken Fist DVD's has been a popular series with us. Now he has added a Drunken Staff form to the repertoire...

• The galleys for "Lone Sword" arrived yesterday and we begin the final phase of editing. It's kind of exciting to see a book like this take shape. So, for a couple of days we will have the only copy in existence...

December 18: O.K. we admit it, we haven't posted many VCDs lately. Partly because for every one we see there are at least two we don't want to sell.. Comment: though there was an astonishing destruction to the treasure of Kung Fu during the Cultural Revolution, there was also some very interesting consolidation going on. Here is an example of a single form, San He Boxing, where the creator spent 20 years combining Taiji, Bagua and Xing Yi.

December 17: Two more DVDs from the Bo Law group. This time Tak Wah Eng tackles the Dragon Sword and Paul Koh shows his stuff with the Three Sectional Staff.

December 15: Few groups of Chinese martial arts has such enthusiastic (even, forgive us, to the point of being a little cultish sometimes) participants as Yi Quan. Well here's a treat. The 120th anniversary of Wang Xian Zhai's birth is celebrated with a pretty great conference with such distinguished guests as Wang's daughter herself. You will be won over by her shining spirit.

December 13: Australia is making itself known in the Kung Fu world. (We were already aware of their strong showing in Choy Lai Fut.) We just added Chen Pan Ling DVDs (see below) and now this... a single DVD that outlines the entire Liu He Tang Lang system's forms and is demonstrated by Mr. Jian Gao. .... We have had the honor a studying a small amount of Six Harmony Mantis and find it a fascinating and uncommon branch of the Mantis family.

December 12: Tony Yang in Ohio is strongly dedicated to preserving and advancing the lessons of his teacher, Liu Yun Chiao. His new double DVD shows a rare condensation created by Liu during the Wu Tang era of his teaching. This is a very rational version of the longer Yang Tai Chi set along with bonus features like a 45 and 64 movement version. Tony Yang's demonstration is solid and clear.

December 11: Devotion is a word not often used in the martial arts and yet it is one of the prime components of the experience. Few realize just how devoted, plain and simple, most instructors and long time practitioners are and have to be. Here is a very personal view of one who has stayed the course, Tak Wah Eng. This new DVD shows him from many perspectives all centered around his in depth experiences in Kung Fu. Additionally, there is one of his core system's Tiger Claw training forms.

December 10, We are pleased to announce an entirely new series of DVD's devoted exclusively to the work of one of the most famous Chinese martial arts experts of the twentieth century: Chen Pan Ling. Highly esteemed, Chen was an advisor to the early efforts in Nanjing to re-structure traditional martial arts: a commission which had direct barely on Chinese self-esteem. His work, such as his Integrated Tai Chi, is estimable and significant though not flashy. Here is his son, and inheritor it is said, demonstrating the core of the system...

December 9, The ChinWoo is the most famous Kung Fu organization in history. And with good reason. It started a modern trend that helped rescue Kung Fu from extinction. It has been the subject of movie books, and truthfully, legends. We have a series of books from Hong Kong dedicated to replicating the famous Chin Woo curriculum. Here are three additions including their best known version of a two person Tan Tui. These books are small but beautifully done.

December 8, Hoo Hoo! It's not an ebullient outburst of the Christmas spirit, its one of the sounds for healing Qigong that is famous for relating to the internal organs. Here is a book on this subject of QiGong vocalizations; but it's by Master Gin Foon Mark, the famous Southern Praying Mantis teacher and a holder of a strong lineage and generations of experience.

December 5, Now that most of the work on the Lone Sword book is done (it's at the printers as we write this!) we have a couple of minutes breathing space to let you know a bit about it. So, the first 'treat' is a new, unpublished and rare interview with Sifu Hsu himself. You can find it here, on the brand new book announcement page! You'll also get a glimpse at the cover and the Table of Contents. We know, we know…the TOC is a bit tantalizing without the book in hand…but it's not that far off and it'll give you a taste until then. By the way, you will also be able to pre-order the book there (more info on that later!).

December 1, Our long awaited and eagerly anticipated "Bagua: The Art of Change" series has finally migrated from video to DVD. This series has been our most popular and has garnered some of the best reviews for any of our products. These two DVD's will easily provide any student of Bagua Zhang with at least a year's worth of study. We're very excited about this and hope to be producing more in the very near future.


Also, Eric Yao's English language book on the wonderfully variable Rope Dart came out a little while ago. Now he has issued a companion DVD on the same weapon... November 26, Boy, are we busy with new stuff. We've finally gotten enough information on the Hung style to develop a whole new page for Hung VCDs and an Info page to go with it. This branch of this beautiful system shows some sets rarely see such as the Smashing Fist which probably date more to the original curriculum for the style... And, for those interested, we've just posted another in the Instructor's Notebook series.

Also, we've just posted the Wing Chun exercises of Lo Bo Jun in DVD form. This man has A LOT of drills and series for the student or instructor who wants some flexible training tips.

November 21, Tong Bei, through the back boxing, is one of the more popular styles we see. And why not. The movements often wed classical and practical. They are fast, expressive and combine skills from many tested and true arts such as Pigua. Here is the newest selection of Tong Bei and with an interesting breakdown where a form is taught, as it should be, as a series of fighting sequences, not just movements ...

November 17, Though it has become very recognized and popular in the West, Chinese medicine is still very, very far from being completely or accurately represented. Popularization doesn't mean understanding. Here is a new book, reviewed by our resident acupuncturist and commentator, that takes a more traditional and more martial approach to the subject... November 13, After a brief break here we are back again. Ever had that experience of hearing someone say what you've been saying but in a completely different way? We have been impressed over the years with the dedication, fidelity and patience of Sifu Wong Kiew Kit and his absolutely amazing patience in trying to promote martial rigor and virtue. We've added a bunch of his works (we would have done it earlier but they aren't easy to locate) but since they are scattered on the site the best bet is probably to go to a new biography page on him we've posted so... November 7, It's off!! the manuscript, that is. We have sent Adam Hsu's freshly edited and designed book to the printer, so it is just a matter of time before Plum's newest publishing venture is available for sale. For those of you who may have missed it, Lone Sword Against the Cold Cold Sky is Adam Hsu's new book. Of course, Plum members and customers will get first shot at the book (and discounts, of course!) so keep tuned as we get closer to release. • We offer a number of "Taoist" style, some of which are less than authentic and certainly less than overwhelming. But a good, solid series we like—as do our customers—is associated with the Lu Shan (Lu Mountain). We had one of these on our BLUE PANEL SPECIAL and now we offer all of them at a significant discount. Also we've added more information about Lu Shan itself: a place of both Taoist and Buddhist interest. November 2, We have added Sifu Neil Ripski's second Drunken Form DVD. This is a good companion to his book and popular first DVD in that it goes into the more advanced methods of his style. We haven't it up on the page yet, but if you want both DVD's or his book and one DVD we can give a ten per cent discount. October 30, We don't mention it often but we know a little more than just martial arts. Debbie's "day job" is managing Logos Books, one of the best used bookstores in Northern California. This special knowledge of the book business allows us to find little treasures like those in our HURT BOOKS section. Save real money on some really fine volumes by taking a little side trip here; often more than double the discount you could find anywhere else. Why do we do it? Because we want you to have these books and we know how much it can help to save a buck. October 26, Finally! We've been trying for over a year to get this wonderful SURVEY OF XING YI and have finally succeeded. This is probably the biggest and most comprehensive Xing Yi survey ever done on film. Dozens of masters demonstrate their branches of ShanXi Xing Yi including the major styles Song, Che, Liu He Xin Yi and the not often seen Dai style which is very distinct from most Xing Yi forms. We've got it in stock and we can offer this major work at a very good price. October 25, Read this by John Lash, "I have been on the Tai Chi journey for 31 years now and I have been a Tai Chi teacher for the past 19 years. I promised myself when I first began teaching that I would never have a school where people came merely to learn movements. The most horrible thing that I can imagine is to spend the rest of my life teaching people how to coordinate their knee with their toe. I decided I would seek to have a school where the students understood that Tai Chi movements are merely techniques to aid them in their journey to the Tao..." Is John Lash one of the few instructors out there who understands the heart and depth of this art (Joanna Zorya aside)? He sometimes sounds so, and you should consider his writings. We've also added a neat group of lesser known and collectible Chi Kung texts you might want to check out. Among these is one of the first books ever translated into English on the subject.
•We've already gotten a number of nice comments on our new feature "Unlocking the Form". At first we were afraid it might be too technical but, as one customer said, "this is the kind of information you can't get". There's too much talking down in the martial arts and too much over-simplification "Tai Chi is for stress reduction", "the martial arts is about winning" that sort of simplistic stuff is like saying that opera is a yelling match... October 21, Today you will find the first of a new series from Plum called "Unlocking the Form". This has been an idea of ours for a long time. This series is designed to help students and teachers alike in understanding the fundamentals and basics of particular practice. This is like having the teacher's edition of the workbook where you learn the special details right along with the movements. This is what is going through the teacher's mind when he teaches you. October 20, Just a reminder that people might feel is very useful. We have a lot of Kung Fu books and we actually have ALPHABETIZED a LIST of the lot (it also contains Taiji, Bagua, etc). This should be a help to those looking for specific books. Now if anyone suggests we also alphabetize all those Chinese editions... wah!
• Now that our new book from Adam Hsu: "Lone Sword Against the Cold Cold Sky" is taking form we can see the shape of the many topics on which Adam Hsu writes so brilliantly. A quick glance at the TOC might show: What is the Kung Fu Bible? A straight talk about the straight sword (in which he lays down the very basis of Chinese fencing). A previously very hard to locate interview with Grandmaster Liu Yun Chiao conducted by Adam Hsu himself. A truly memorable piece on Thunder Style Taiji that gives an insight into every style of Chinese martial arts. A piece on the Jin Wu Association and its founder. More and more to come... We'll keep you posted as it takes shape. October 17, Of all the videos we've ever produced ourselves without a doubt the most popular has been the Art of Change series dedicated to Bagua Zhang. It is, if we say so ourselves, chock full of exercises, techniques, information and ideas. We estimate that just the first one is about a year's instruction in the art and most people who have seen it agree. Well, as they say about the cobbler's son going barefoot, even though we sell hundreds of DVDs we haven't been able to take the time to convert to this format. But that's no longer the case as BAGUA: THE ART OF CHANGE will be returning to our site in a very short time. So be on the lookout.

October 16, We're quite aware that only a per cent age of our customers collect and peruse our Chinese language books but we always like to announce additions because, plainly, that are so much fun. We've added some new Southern Boxing books to our traditional page seven, and have started a new page eight with only two offerings, but interesting ones: the Choy Lai Fut Dummy (with a number of articles in ENGLISH) and a book on the sought after style: Mok Gar. Many of these books have been around, at least ten years and will probably not return. They came in the on rush of world interest in Kung Fu and are difficult to find even in newer editions, much less these volumes. If they are collector's items yet, they will be.

 

October 14, And speaking of Wan Lai Sheng, who is very popular with french practitioners (this we call a segue, a french word) we just happened to have gotten our hands on some editions of YanQingQuan in french (en francaise).. so, if this could be of use to you... S' il vous plait regarder YanQingQuan.

October 10, Wan Lai Sheng was a major figure in martial arts at the early part of the twentieth century. Mastering Shaolin, Liu He and the Ziran (Natural) school he contributed much to Wushu instruction. We now have DVDs with the disciples of this famous master showing his many arts including, testicular retraction, parallels to calligraphy and three very interesting partner sets including one concentrating on point striking.

October 9, More on our "Blue Panel Sales" where we drop the price of certain VCDs. We've added to our Choy Lai Fut section, and have put the ENTIRE Chen Qing Zhou section on sale (if you don't known about this fine Taiji instructor there is a biography on this page. We're also running a special on the popular Zi Ran Quan (Natural, Spontaneous Boxing). See September 10 below for the rest of our Blue Panel items.
•Talk about "Lost" styles. We've just discovered that we have "lost" an entire style: Wen Sheng Boxing. Not well known but very interesting and, surprisingly, somewhat related to Tai Tzu which is gaining in recognition (often under false premises but that's Kung Fu). We have an info box on this style that, at least at present, seems to have more background than anyone else. Take a glance at Wen Sheng and impress your martial friends.

October 4, The historical situation with Taiwan based instructors is very interesting. In the Seventies and Eighties they might have gotten too much play because, for many, they were just about the only game in town. There were of course the rivalries and political problems. On the other hand the Taiwanese dedication to "preserving Chinese culture" kept many fine hands practicing and improving their skills while the mainland was in a state of indecision and, in fact, actually hurting some masters and styles. One of the instructors who deserved greater study and more recognition was Li Ya Hsuan (Xuan), one of Yang Chen Fu's top students. Li's writings are intelligent and deep. Also, unlike so many of his contemporaries, we have excellent photographic records of his form, and exemplary it was surpassing many with more popular names. We have established a page just for Li and his work and the excellent renditions coming out from Lion Books. If you have the least interest in Yang Tai Chi, take a look. October 3, We like to announce when some of our Chinese book return since it would be hard to know without perusing the Chinese Book pages almost constantly (of course you could do that, too). We've just restocked on Tong Bei 24 Strikes (this one for the first time), Muslim (Hui) Style Kung Fu (Book by Matsuda Ryuchi are hard to get. Our advice is order these when they come in as our distributors keep telling us they are almost impossible to find), Chuo Jiao (this hardback has hundreds of pages and nine forms) and the little book: Wu Dang 8 Immortals Boxing . Also, in the collector's vein, we offer Tak Wah Eng's first book, a little pamphlet introducing some of the basics of the Fu Jow/Shaolin system October 2, Let's see, two person sets. Well, we've taught Shaolin empty hands, Spear vs. Saber, Spear vs. Three part stick, Stick vs. Stick, Spar vs. Kuan Dao, daggers vs. empty hands, Tai Chi San Shou and many more. But for a logical and simple progression from real skills to real usage few sequences can beat (no pun intended) the twin forms of 24 and—now—40 Beats of the Tian Shan Pai system. Are we talking from experience. We have taught both for over 30 years and recommend them unreservedly. September 30, What are we looking for at the deepest level of practice? Are we isolated or part of a wide reaching group? Steve Matchett brings his subtle focus to the act of non-acting in this new piece. We don't want to say much, just encourage your to read and enjoy. September 29, Paul Koh and his teacher, Tak Wah Eng, have been tearing up the place coming out with a plethora of new material all based on a strong traditional foundation. Now Paul introduces his version of the Five Element Shaolin form with a new book. As usual the presentation is worth a look. September 28, The idea of a site like this isn't so much to have everything as to have the really useful, unusual or just plain interesting. Sometimes, as in this case, we add a book that's been around a while, but what a book it is, from the first days when Qigong was being introduced to the West this book stood out as having some of the best practical information: check out "Qigong Essentials for Health Promotion" in the HARDBACK edition and see what you think ...

September 26, Let's start with a new (old) book on Shaolin done in the late 80's with a rare Luohan set: Sticky Hand Boxing. We've also tried, in between editing Adam Hsu's book, to consolidate some pages. Many of our friends here seem to think this helps. Originally we kept every page apart. But here's all the videos produced by the lively and dedicated Su Yu Chang, a very well known instructor indeed ...

September 22, Tai Yi is a branch of Wu Dang boxing which, according to some, retains its authenticity. Here's a book on the Wu Dang Tai Yi that is well presented and described by a WuShu expert. Also we just added an extremely popular book in China, Taijiquan in 88 Forms which sold over a million and a half copies there.• Interviews: we received a lot of nice comments on our interview recently on the subject of aging and the martial arts. If you have any topics which you might consider important for an interview with one of our instructors at PLUM just send them along. Remember, if the subject interests you in your martial studies it will be of interest to many others, too. In general, while we love to put up neat items for sale, we have plans to expand tremendously our instructional/informational sections. Accordingly we have received a number of new articles by writers new to the site. Keep 'em coming...

September 18, Still working like crazy on the new book. It gets better and better but we keep finding more and more to add in refinement. At least we've had time to organize a new page entitled "Chi Kung and Health". You probably would think we might have done this years ago but there is SO much misinformation and silliness about this exquisite art that we wanted to wait until we could make the best recommendations. We're just starting and if you go there you'll find some nice things. One: we have a new book by Tom Bisio the medical treasures and tricks within martial practice and related to it. We are also starting right with the authoritative volume by the scholarly and talented Mr. Kenneth S. Cohen. He's been around for a while and we've wanted to put his work up. Now that we finally have expect to hear more about this dedicated teacher and writer.

September 11, And just to round everything off, a THIRD addition of a completely new and original form but deeply rooted in classical Kung Fu by Tak Wah Eng. This offering encompassing the Southern Kung Fu actions of the Five Animals. 11th later: We add a number of scattered items here: a new 8 Shape 8 Palm Bagua set based on animals, a rare Cannon Fist set said to have been used by Yang Ban Hou when he taught (both demonstrated by popular teacher Wu Shu Jin), and the Wu Ji (Primordial) style created during the Sung Dynasty, and finally a disk on the fundamentals of Hebei style Xing Yi by a student of the famous Sun Zhi Jun. VCDs galore. And remember the ones on special announced just below.

September 10, We know, we promised you a sale before this but we've been working like fiends on many projects. We have finished the editorial duties for Adam Hsu's brilliant book of essays coming out soon, "Lone Sword Against the Cold Cold Sky" and we are in the process of getting our most popular video series, by far, "The Art of Change: Bagua Zhang" translated into the DVD format. Nonetheless, here is the first installment of our multi-part SALE. On each of the following pages we had designated at least one VCD by a blue panel —that's why we're calling it a Blue Panel Sale—for the ridiculously low price of $4.95 (more for doubles triples). Buy one or buy them all, but here's a chance to try styles you've only dreamt about. Stock is limited on some but we're going to try our best to accommodate all orders. Have fun ...
Cha Quan, Lost Track, Qing Cheng Taoist Style, Taiji Plum Blossom Mantis, Choy Li Fut, ZhaoBao Taiji, Three Emperor Cannon Fist, Lu Shan Mountain Taoist Style and Xiao Yao another Taoist influenced form.

September 09, There is a small group of modern masters such as Adam Hsu, Bow Sim Mark, George Xu and others who are actively exploring and creating new forms but with a solid grounding in traditional knowledge. One of these, almost exclusive in the Southern Fists, is Tak Wah Eng who's newest creations are strong, solid and well constructed yet accommodate the modern sensibility for compact information ...

September 06, A new SPOTLIGHT section examines - or more properly RE-examines- one of our Chinese books in detail. This time we picked the limber and accomplished martial teacher Wang Bo who has quite a following in Europe. This book delves into his Lao Jia in the Wu Quan You version. Bear with us as far as the PDF files, we're just learning but our idea is to increase the reference section of the site to give more and fuller examples of significant Chinese texts... September 05, We welcome another voice to the town meeting, Jose de Freitas with his article on the benefits of conditioning and training in the internal styles... September 02, Gary Shapiro has written a number of interesting and provocative pieces. Now he shares one that is the result of much thought and experience and has some fascinating parallels between his knowledge of the human body and his study of Taiji. We urge you to take a look at "Full Circle" ...

September 01, Perhaps that's why... I mean "If we have a second page of Wing Chun VCD's posted and we actually don't TELL anyone, then how exactly would they buy them?" Sometimes Debbie asks me puzzlers like this and I'm stumped. On the other hand I can remember a few hundred forms...

August 29, Just added... another installment of the Instructor's Notebook. In this case we discuss how to use classical structure to develop new and interesting exercises.

August 26, We have just added the DVD version of one of our most popular Bagua artists: Liu JingRu. Here are what have been some of the best selling VCDs we've ever had now with English subtitles. Also, we are beginning with this series our prices roll back on some items. So have a look!

August 23, We continue with our addition of ENGLISH language VCDs through a scattered selection containing new offerings on: Wing Chun, Wu Song Breaks Manacles, White Eyebrow (doubling our list), Choy Li Fut, Nan Quan, Duck Style, Cha Quan and, of course, Shaolin.

Also, we don't think there is any dispute about the fame of Wu Lian Zhi when it comes to Baji. We might differ a little in our interpretation but Wu is a likely candidate for the authority recognized by the most people at present. In his new series he does what we have advocated fora long time: really teach some information. These VCDs are extended lectures, all in Chinese, about the very roots, theory and meaning of Baji Quan, that powerhouse style which will be covered in our upcoming new release of Adam Hsu's book. This is a series of in-depth discussion with demonstrations illustrating key points. Valuable information for the Baji fan.

Oh, and let's not forget our newest contribution by oft-time writer and thoughtful instructor, Joanna Zorya.

August 22, As we have pointed out before, Muslim practitioners have played a major part in Kung Fu history due to their unique position and often hard troubles. Some styles are associated in part with Muslims such as Baji and Pi Gua. Others are almost exclusively Muslim with strong restrictions on who is taught what. One of the commonly associated styles is the ever popular Cha (Zha) Boxing. Another that has gained much recognition, and deserves it, is Xin Yi Liu He. Here is the third style, rarely see even in China, of Seven Form Fist. Just go and read the training curriculum even if you are not interested in the style. There is little emphasis on forms (this from someone who loves forms but facts are facts) and much emphasis on technique and application. This was Kung Fu centuries ago. This style, due to the isolation of the Muslim population in China, is probably a relatively in tact artifact.

August 20, Whew! We just took it into our head to begin the first of what we call our "Nexus" pages. In this case we've collected most of the VCDs we could find on the subject of Ch'i Kung (Qigong) onto ONE PAGE. From this nexus you can choose to visit the individual collections. But check here for a variety of Qigong exercises that will make your head spin (no, clear).

Also, we are posting (as a special order page) the third installment of our series on Wan Lai Sheng who occupied a radical place, much like Bruce Lee, in his time. This is mostly applications and will especially interest those following the twin legacies of Wan: Zi Ran Boxing and Six Harmony Fist.


August 18, Have you seen our "hurt book" section yet? We just added another three books at extraordinary discounts ( way below the other guys) and we have an ongoing selection of some great books for great prices. We comb the book sellers to find these low-priced additions just perfect for fellow addicts. Take a look now, then keep checking in occasionally to find that rare find.

August 15, An important weekend. We just returned, Debbie and I, from Washington D.C. where we were honored to attend the offical Bai Si ceremony welcoming Dennis Brown and Gene Gause as disciples in the T'ien Shan Pai lineage. We also renewed old friendships and started new ones. The community and warm feelings were strong and beautifully orchestrated and maintained by Dennis Brown and his wonderful family. To old timers, like me, tournaments are always complex and sometimes even troubling experiences in the general view of the martial world. But there could be no question of the efficiency, enthusiastic particpation and high energy of this event. Among these high points was a visit to Clarence Burris's Chinese Martial Arts Institute which we promptly posted on our school list at our reelingsilk.com site. Other great times including some fantastic East Coast fish dinners and some intense conversations. Martial Arts appears alive and thriving in this neck of the woods. In addition we were reunited (after thirty years) with our old friend and teacher Willy Lin who had just finished the DVD of the second fundamental partner form from T'ien Shan Pai: Forty Beats — soon to be available at Plum.

August 11

Small Thoughts From a Big Tournament: The Nod

The Sensei is leading the group through the lobby. This is the hotel where the tournament will be held. The young people behind him split their attention between looking at the vaulted ceiling and managing their grips. They look like a martial team coming to compete.

I'm in the open bar across the lobby on a raised platform wondering what I'm going to write about and thinking about how much I hate Starbuck's coffee. I sit.

I stare, and the Sensei spots my stare and calls out across the lobby as he passes, perfectly aware that he's got it right, "Hi! How are you?"

I nod and say something.

They pass to the elevators. We do this thing, we martial artists. There is a sign, a flicker, a signal. The recognition of the species, I guess. Oh, it takes many forms. Where I grew up in the West many of the players there were Asian but also many Latinos. We don't nod. We do the reverse. We kick the head back with a curt lift of the chin.

In Kenpo, where I started, we had -- no surprise -- a Masonic stealth to our greetings. We grasped each others' right hands, in a shake, always with the two first fingers of the left hand touching our right wrists. Think that's complex, in Kenpo it was just the beginning. But on.

This friendly greeting can be a bow, a nod, a glance, a full blown salute. Last night I visited the fine Chinese Martial Arts school of Sifu Clarence Burris. When Willy Lin, Debbie and I entered we were greeted with a full salute from instructors and students. It's been a while since that happened, and I was moved.

Salutations don't have to be elaborate. The point is, we recognize each other. We recognize our commonality, our shared interests and struggles. Look at what we've done in 100 years. We've adopted a series of movements, weapons, techniques, poses and even a sense of beauty from hundreds of regions, obscure and famous, from pre-modern China. From Australia on one side all the way around the world to India on the other we have formed a ring of fellowship. And, it is reasonable to assume, our numbers are larger than the population of many countries. And I don't mean Luxembourg. I mean Germany or Italy.

We have jumped racial divides and dodged religious insecurities. We have banded together to fight cancer and empower battered women. We have changed the color of the next generation of martial children to a rainbow of diverse hues.

On the other hand we should emphasize this recognition more. Martial artists do not help one another enough. We are caught in our own propaganda, spending too much time comparing styles and showing off our own perceived strong points to the disadvantage of others. We believe our own arguments. We become stiff around one another when friendship and brotherhood would be more appropriate and -- I like to think -- would more truthfully express our love for this experience which has proven itself time and again to have no borders.

August 9, Is the Western World starting to make some progress in the art of Kung Fu? Well, the recognition must be there for a new company is releasing all its VCDs in English as well as Chinese. That means, among other things, that people eventually will not need to buy the DVD to get the subtitling and translation. The two main representatives of this new series are in our Wu Dang and Emei divisions. The practitioners are strong and, in fact, the whisk form is the best we've seen - ever.

August 8, It looks like we've become the review center for many new releases in the Chinese martial arts world. We have a lot of really fine DVDs coming up almost immediately. Also our first VCD SALE will be here by next week.

Though we don't often attend tournaments – no time – we will be hanging around this weekend at Sifu Dennis Brown's Capitol Classics in Washington D.C. (August 11-13th, Crystal Gateway Marriott). This is a fine and well known tournament and we're looking forward to it. We are also excited about reuniting with our instructor of over thirty years ago, Willy Lin. Mr. Lin is a dear and old friend and he has recently re-entered the martial field and is already gathering honors and making a splash despite being almost 70 years old. He is a true martial arts lover and an enthusiastic instructor. Studying from him is a wonderful experience shared by us and Sifu Brown. Plum will continue operations right through the tournament so order away or send us your questions. And, if you are at the Capitol Classic and see us, drop by and say hello.

July 29, There are a few styles of authentic and traditional Kung Fu which are blossoming and have stood the test of fadishness to come back stronger than ever. To our mind two KF success stories are Praying Mantis and Choy Lai Fut. Here are two more additions to the CLF DVD selection: The Buddha Palm (a CLF internal set) and the CLF Dragon Fan.

July 28,You know one of the hardest things to develop in Kung Fu is an eye. It reminds us of the backhanded compliment writer Mary McCarthy said of J. D. Salinger that he had a "vicious ear." You need a vicious eye for this art because, often, the beautiful is not the best just as the most expensive bottle of wine in a restaurant is rarely the finest. There's a certain organic quality to someone who knows Kung Fu. Old pictures of masters are often disappointing because their fingers are spread, the knee isn't perfectly straight, the posture is canted, etc. We've just added a series of VCDs on Sun Lu Tang's style where teacher Deng Fu Ming demonstrates this earthy, hands on quality both in form and application. He shows Sun's style then applications in an off handed chatty manner while being attacked by a student. His movements are focused and powerful but also lively and eschewing artifice. This is a good series for those people who have complained, often rightly, of the posed quality of some teachers and their usage.

July 22,10:30 am: Paul Eng's #3 volume in his beautifully executed Praying Mantis series is back in stock. This one is the famous "Monkey Steals the Peach," one of Law Kwon Yuk's favorites. If you have any interest in this style you should see this series, one of the best on the art in English (with Chinese also).

2006, July 22,Looks like it might be an active summer for us. We will be attending Dennis Brown's tournament in Washington D.C. this August - come by and say hi. We are also progressing on Adam Hsu's new book and are getting to that scary stage when we send it to the publishers. We have a new price stucture to announce and will do that with accopmanying sales. And we've decided to create an entirely new INSTRUCTIONAL SERIES with all sorts of valuable information. We may have to turn this weblog into an hourly report like a stock newsletter if we keep up at this rate...

2006, July 22,We are happy to introduce a new review voice to our team, T'ai Chi teacher Joanna Zorya. For the past few years she has published articles with us and created a series of very interesting DVDs on Bagua, Xing Yi and T'ai Chi. Now she reviews our newest DVD on sword technique by Scott Rodell. Please take a look.

2006, July 19,We want to talk about something important to this site. We have tried, over the years, to supply the best information and prices we can. We know that there may be a price here or there that's a little better than our listed price. We also know that this site has been based on martial courtesy, community and respect; our customers and readers have been remarkable throughout the years. But we reject the idea of a site where the products are just that - products, without meaning or significance to martial artists. There are more than enough of those already: empty, boring and-frankly-a slight at the actual integrity of the Arts we treasure.

We can't exist if people take all our information then go somewhere else to save fifty cents or so. We need your support to continue this dialogue and information gathering. At the same time we don't want to put our valued customers and friends into a conflict with themselves. We get letters now and then, not many, suggesting that they've found a price slightly lower than ours and we think, "Sure, but you probably wouldn't be buying that if you hadn't first read a review on Plum, describing, analyzing and advising about whether it was WORTH buying in the first place." We also know that, if you add in postage and shipping time, we're really very competitive. And we always try to give a fair price ACCORDING TO WHAT WE PAY because, after all we're not Century or another huge company. With all this we try to remind people to support their real sources of information and discernment, whether on Plum or in their own neighborhoods. The lowest price now may have an exorbitant price tag down the line. Finally, we promise to continue to offer the best prices we can. With this in mind, our registered customers can expect some lower prices and great sales in the coming weeks.

Later: As far as pure style, we often find Tak Wah Eng's group to be some of the best looking DVDs in the martial arena. Here is his newest conribution in a sort of real time, montage of Iron Palm Training showing his own warm up, breaks and skills...

2006, July 11, There's limber and there's limber. Here is a new section that shows the difference clearly and some interesting branch of "Shaolin BaFa" a style that resembles such strong forms as Luo Han, Gong Li Boxing and Tan Tui style. Also, for years we have been trying to add Wong Kiew Kit's book to our list but have been chasing around publishers and publications dates. Here we start with his huge, prolific and fascinating Complete Book of Shaolin. If the subject interests you this is a good one to check out.

2006, July 4, We get a lot of inquiries about the so called "fourth internal style" namely LiuHeBaFa or "Water boxing." Well, a teacher named Liu Xiao Ling has produced one of the cleanest and most detailed of DVDs we have seen on this style; really very nice. He's also produced an in-depth DVD on Wudang Qigong with solid instruction and great details.

2006, July 3, Every new VCD we put up today is a from an instructor we already know and trust. For instance we have an interesting teaching/lecture series from the first Pigua instructor we had on VCD, Guo RuXing son of "Swallow Guo" teaching, Pigua Zhang, a style we think everyone involved in Long Fist CMA should be familiar with. Then there is the famous and sought after Zhu Bao Zhen showing the characteristic basics of his Bagua style. And, speaking of Bagua, we have Li Zi Ming's disciple, Zhang Jin Liang, showing some very martial and correct applications of his Wu Style Tai Chi saber.. All strong teachers.

2006, June 30, There is so much "weak" Chi Kung on the market such as the somewhat suspect "medical" Chi Kung. But if you are interested in the healing properties of Chi Kung how about learning from a Chinese doctor and martial practitioner? We are now offering the well known Su Yu Chang's Chi Kung series in DVD format for the first time...

2006, June 25, Joanna Zorya, the head of the Reeling Silk school in England, has been busy. In the last few months she has issued three items: newly revised (Putting the Quan back in Taiji); newly repacked (Bagua Techniques) and newly produced (Taiji Concepts). There is also a discount for ordering any combination of her DVD discs.

2006, June 23, We add two books on T'ai Chi but of a very different stamp. The first is the uncommon Ch'ang style created by world famous wrestler Ch'ang Tung Sheng. Then the equally famous Ma Yueh Liang's Push Hands book, another difficult to locate ... In addition we have just added a series of essays and observations by teacher Scott Rodell who has studied a special branch of Yang Style known as Mi Chuan.

2006, June 19, We admit it, we've has a section on SHAOLIN Mantis, including a special order section, for months and forgot to post it. Sometimes it amazes us how people FIND things on the site. We did say it would be like a "garden stroll," but I'm not sure we meant for us, too ...

2006, June 16, We add another installment of the "Instructor's Notebook", this time on a little teaching game...

• Just finished the first bout of placing pictures into our forthcoming new book. At that point we took a moment to realize that we are continually astonished at the quality of thought, the insights and the importance of the information Adam Hsu is presenting. Just the section on the real usage of the Chinese sword, not to mention parts on Baji, Bagua and Long Fist, display information that will be like gold for those people who really want authentic knowledge about CMA (Chinese Martial Arts). We've read hundreds, no thousands, of pieces in Black Belt, Inside Kung Fu and other publications. We've talked to tens of thousand of students and instructors over a lifetime in the arts and the real thinkers we can count on one hand. Adam Hsu, right or wrong in the particular, is definitely one of this special group and we know PLUM's forthcoming book will have a permanent place on the shelf of every instructor and student who cares...

2006, June 10, Some new DVDs... Here are some of the better versions of the type of Praying Mantis which comes from a Shaolin base. Also some Shaolin versions of weapons such as the Yin Hand Staff and the Double Steel Whips...

2006, June 7, Gary Shapiro adds one of his best articles yet starting, of all things, with the Cagney film "White Heat" ...

2006, June 5, We just added Mark Chen's book on the style of Lao Jia performed by his famous teacher, Chen QingZhou. Mark is one of a "new breed" of martial writers: literate, outspoken and openly sceptical of some of the past silliness about the arts. A useful book, at a good price, for practitioners in general ...

2006, June 2, After a wait of almost TWO YEARS, we have just received new stock on that rare classic, Xing Yi Nei Gong, compiled by Tim Cartmell and Dan Miller from the works of Wang JiWu’s students. Dealing with the “internal work” (Nei Gong) of XingYi, it is a well-illustrated text with much to offer. The accompanying tape is also available again. Order now and get 10% off! ...

2006, May 30, We are restructuring our book pages because, well, we have all sorts of great books lying around and we don't even know if there are online. But other than that everything's under control. Among the collected pages, which should make things A LOT easier to find, are sections on Southern Style Kung Fu, Chin Na, Assorted Styles and Kicking ...

2006, May 27, Just a quick note as we are going off to teach, Rick Wing's Northern Shaolin Martial Skill book has returned to stock and you can get it here and just about no where else ...

2006, May 25, We have so many new books and DVDs we'll have to let you know a few each day. Today we offer one of the cleanest presentations of the Li branch of T'ai Chi we've seen. It's in our Chinese book division and worth a glance if you are interested in T'ai Chi. Also a first edition of a very unusual book, the 1982 version of the Dragon Tiger Double Swords (the Tiger sword being the inspiration for the Okinawan Sai?). This is on our new Weapons Collection pages such as for the straight sword. This is the first offering of a new face for the site that will make viewing related books much easier, collecting them all on page for your convenience. And look for more intereresting writings from Joanna Zorya and Gary Shapiro, not to mention new installments of the Instructor's notebook ...

2006, May 19, Some styles of Kung Fu are widely known in China and represent what we might call "Big Families." Not only are they large with many sets but they also "intermarry" with other styles. Lost Track, hardly known in the West, is one of these. We now open another branch of this family with Double Weapons in our newest VCD offering...

2006, May 17, later, We are happy to have another DVD presentation by Joanna Zorya of the Silk Reeling School. This time she does something which should have been done by someone quite a while back; she has created a visual essay on the key points of Tai Chi as a martial art quoting from the Classics, showing applications, arming herself with weapons and demonstrating battlefield applications. It falls in line with the creative and insightful approach we have come to expect from this corner.

2006, May 17, When we published the "Spring and Autumn of Chinese Martial Arts" by professor Kang Ge Wu martial artists all over the worl were asking how had we been so lucky to produce such an important text. Our next book, which we are working on right now, proves to be another milestone in the expansion of knowledge regarding Wushu. Written by Adam Hsu and his students this will be tentatively entitled "Lone Sword Against a Cold Cold Sky" and will collect and expand on some of Hsu's writings which have gained him world wide fame. Most exciting is that fact that there are expanded and detailed instructions on such topics as Chinese swordsmanship, Kung Fu fighting strategy and a cart load of topics which are poorly understood at best.

2006, May 12, There are some issues which bring up the attention of every martial artist: pain, practice and patience. Here is a new article by Steve Matchett on just those significant concerns.Also, just catching up, we have some new Chinese language texts on Tai Tzu self defense; Luo Han fighting; a new set of books on Tai Chi Mei Hua Praying Mantis; and more on the new series of modern nicely presented Wing Chun books.

2006, May 11, We are breaking out with all sorts of new books and offerings such as a new piece by Steve Matchett, a new DVD by Joanna Zorya, some new books in translation and other excellent material. Also our letters have been incredible. People all over the world have been writing, asking questions, filling us in with information. Right now we are looking for personal experiences, articles or even just vignettes on some aspect of practice which is personal, true and important to you. We can't promise to put every single piece up but if you have the time and inclination...

2006, May 3, Sun Zhi Jun is, without a doubt, one of the most popular presenters of Bagua we offer. Here is not one, but two new series of his work. This adds Bagua partner saber, a partner form and even his Hebei Xing Yi to his opus. Also, we've added much biographical information on his life in the arts.

2006, April 30, The Wu style has some very distinct aspects. One of these is the slanted body position designed to create force vectors of internal potential energy. Here is one of the best presentations of the Wu Long Set we've seen by Gao Zhuan Fei, himself a long time practitioner and student of famous teachers.

2006, April 29, We are literally posting so much stuff to the site we don't have time to tell you about it. But to the list: two important book in traditional Chinese one by the famous master of the Eagle Claw Lau Fat Man and the other a huge book on Wu Tai Chi by Wang Pei Sheng whose name seems to be growing daily since his passing. "

2006, April 21, The Praying Mantis is not only a popular style but one of the healthiest in the entire Wushu world. There are many branches of it, though, and here is one of the least known connected to the famous instructor , Li Yu San, "Tong Bei (Back Connected) Mantis."

2006, April 19, later: Just posted: an interview with Shifu Ted Mancuso on that age old question, "Age... and Kung Fu."

2006, April 19: We have been remiss on cataloguing the newest issues of Taiwan Wu Lin magazine: that fine publication out of Lion Books on the Taiwan martial scene. So we've caught up with four issues at once. White Crane, Tai Tzu, Eight Step Mantis and more ...

2006, April 18: Boy, have we got a lot for you. But let's start with the observation that it just isn't every day you see a 90+ year old practitioner doing carthweels. Well, give a look to our newest senior Shifu and acupuncturist, Yang De You, and his lively practice of the Big Dipper style. Truly a folk skill ...

2006, April 10: Now that Tax Time is over ... We can't believe we could get THAT far behind. Like for instance, here is a perfectly neat new book on the underrepresented Gao style of Bagua from students of the famous Liu Feng Cai and we've neglected to post it for a month. Partly we have been working on Adam Hsu's upcoming book which, we believe, will be a major additon to Kung Fu literature. And partly we're just slow (not Tai Chi slow) because we're about to increase the informational content of our site (as opposed to the product content which is also infomational, somewhat, but we think you known what we mean. Coming soon an interview with Shifu Ted Mancuso on that ever present problem, practice and aging. As usual the comment will be a little different ...

2006, April 5: It should come as a surprise to no one in the martial arts that some aspects involve Chinese massage methods (called Tui Nah or An Mo). We have at last found a series we like for such information that is self explanatory in VCD form. Check out the new Jing Gang (Buddha Disciple) Exercise page...

2006, April 1: Another little info box on a rare style, Ba Fa Quan....

2006, March 29: Some of the DVD's we've been receiving are significantly better for learning purposes than their VCD counterparts. This is not always the case but we try to alert you to our evaluation on this point. Here is a new example of this in the world of Tai Chi with the very clear teaching of Ding Shui De. New Yang versions of important sets in DVD format with English subtitles. ALSO we have such great customers with strong interest in martial arts that we are being swamped with questions about principles, practice and application. We have a couple ideas of how everyone can benefit by this so look for some new columns and features about the practice of this great art: its detours and revelations... We can't keep ahead of you all but at least we can try to catch up...

2006, March 26: THEY'RE BACK. In the martial world certain items disappear rarely to return. We've done some detective work - especially Debbie- and we have located such products of great popularity and even greater scarcity. 1. Definitely thought to be out of print! But we've got it back! Here is the Xing Yi sword set of Sun Lu Tang's style taught by his own daughter (through a demonstrator). Xing Yi and Ba Gua were Sun's real areas of expertise and this VCD has been unavailable for quite a while. ... 2. And, speaking of VCD's, we have located Liu Jin Ru's double disk presentation of Xing Yi. This one has been requested numerous times and we were told it, too, was unavailable. It will be up in a day or two and it's VCD # is 114.. 3. Good luck if you try to find this one... Here we re-present some of the ONLY editions of Da Cheng Kung Fu by Wang Xuan De available in the English language. go ahead, try to find this one. We have about fifty of these and have had requests for most of them but there's still enough for first come first serve, so...

2006, March 21: We are happy to see a new VCD series on LIUHEBAFA a style that is exploding in popularity partially because it is billed as the "fourth internal" style. This is nice because Plum is first not only in offering this version of the form but, for the first time, showing usage in the style and some key practice methods. Much more complete information than has yet been available ...

2006, March 15: We are always updating this or that portion of the site - often with the help of our friends out there. Have you seen any of our info boxes lately. We've just added information on the rare Flicking Hand Mantis. Take a look. Also, some titles in our Chinese texts section have returned. We literally don't know which ones are available from time to time or, in many cases, if they will ever be available again. See for yourself. We know they are in Chinese but, especially in the case of the Traditional character texts, we consider that some of these will be collector's items before too long. Brian Kennedy has just written a book on this subject. Enough for now but we have so much stuff coming we're just trying to get the time to post it. Still basically a three person operation here. Later...

2006, March 12: On a number of occasions we have mentioned the skills of Wang Pei Sheng. In this new book, "Combat Techniques of Taiji, XingYi and BaGua" his long time student Lu ShengLi integrates information about internal martial arts (and some arguments of interest for the very EXISTENCE of the internal school), histories and some interesting practical exercises.

2006, March 8: Want INTERNAL DAMAGE? Shihfu Glen Hairston has come up with a DVD on Combat Tai Chi that is streetwise and edgy. Check out this very straight forward example of fighting TC by a person with a great deal of experience who, by his own words, "fights almost every day."

2006, March 2: Our newest Spotlight focuses on the Seven Immortals style ...

2006, March 1: Zhang Zhao Dong was a famous student and teacher of both Xing Yi and BaGua at the turn of the 20th century. This new series of Jin Branch traces both influences ...

2006, February 28: One think people like about Yi Quan is the relatively consistent practice methods: Standing, Strengthening, Testing, etc. Here is a new series from instructor Huang Jing Wen which you can order if ...

2006, February 27: For people interested in Tien Shan Pai, for those who like Chin Nah, for the students who just want to see some joyful and clear instruction; we have added Willy Lin's new CHIN NAH series. Take a look at the man who introduced Tien Shan Pai to the US ...

2006, February 27: Sometimes a single example is of major interest. Here is a humble VCD of Wen An BaGua, from Dong's Hai Chuan's home area. If you want to see pure Mother Palms with some interesting changes...

2006, February 24: The metal tiger month of the Dog Year seems to be a Xing Yi festival. There are a lot of elemental changes going on. More people coming to our school seem interested in authentic Kung Fu training. Anyway, here is another series of Dai Xing Yi. This is a very soft interpretation of the form and quite interesting. We wonder how many people even in China had heard of Dai style before recent interest. Certainly few before 1920 or so. Once again, notoriety has little to do with quality.

2006, February 22: We now have two full sets of Li Hong's very clear Xing Yi instruction on the Shang branch of Xing Yi which seems to partake of Xing and Xin Yi. Since we sell these in less expensive VCD format we are often unsure ourselves which is better. Sometimes we feel the English for "step forward with your right foot" isn't much better than the visual of the teacher doing the action. But if you are a Xing Yi aficionado there will be many things here for you since Li Hong is obviously a professional instructor with a very detail oriented style of teaching.

2006, February 21: You have to read this one right. Our newest set of VCDs is Fu Xi Ba Gua Boxing. But it's not Fu Xi (the legendary emperor who developed the Trigrams) style Ba Gua. It is Fu Xi BaGua style boxing. Well, see for yourself.

2006, February 15: There ALWAYS seems to be interest in Xing Yi, especially Shan Xi style of late. Here is an interesting "collection" in the truest sense of the word. Instructor Zhang Xi Gui shows many faces of Shan Xi including Dai style, Chicken Form, Hun Yuan and just "baide" or vanilla flavored - if you can call Xing Yi vanilla.

2006, February 13: We have initiated a new page with new and old links: CULTURE. This will cover a wide range of topics including essays - not instruction books - on the art of Kung Fu by top writers in the field, books on philosophy which we consider exceptional such as Al Huang's I Ching and Completely on Chinese language. These are special texts, not primers, which can aid you immeasurably in your research. Anyway give it a look.

2006, February 10: Very excited! We have the happy news to say that we are presently in negotiations with Shihfu Adam Hsu. Plum may soon announce it will be the publisher of Shihfu Hsu's books of important writings on the art of Wu Shu. Compiling articles and essays which helped to establish his fame in the Western world his newest book will bring together some of the most important writings on the art ever to appear in English.

2006, February 01: One of our corespondent instructors and contributors, Joanna Zorya, introduces the basic actions of Tai Chi based on an in depth exploration of Peng, Lu, Ji, An and Cai. With her representative clarity she shows straight forward and classical applications of the techniques within the Chen Man Ching set. Other DVDs expanding our collection include a three part series on the Liu He Ba Fa form by teacher Jiang Jian Ye.

2006, January 30: Here we are in the Year of the Fire Dog. If you are interested in the meaning of the year you may check out our sister site: reelingsilk.com. Where our resident astrology and acupuncturist deals with the meaning of this shift in time... We also feature a new article by Gary Shapiro with some provocative comments on the relative benefits of standing practice and moving practice.

2006, January 27: And now we have three new Xing Yi books in Chinese concentrating on weapons. Soon to be: Willy Lin has just issued his new Heaven Mountain Chin Nah series which is very nicely presented. Also, a completely new section for us: we are beginning to offer special books for those researchers out there who are contemplating or presently studying Chinese. Since we're martial artists ourselves our inclination will be toward those materials aiding our special interests. Watch for our Language Page.

2006, January 25: Luo Jin Hua was a student of Shao Guo Zheng. His movements are lively and we have him now in DVD on both his art of Xing Yi and Ba Gua. Worth a look... Also we have a new DVD from Joanna Zorya showing her fundamental breakdown of the Tai Chi energies of Peng, Lu, Ji, An and Cai.

2006, January 22: LI style Tai Chi is barely known outside of China. This is a form with more sets than most other styles; with influence of Tai Chi, Ba Gua and Xing Yi, with fluid movements and interesting hand forms. Here's a new information section on this interesting style ...

2006, January 20: We've been eating away at all the dishes, all the new information we have. But at last something gets posted and in this case it is one of the most requested instructors we have: Feng Zhi Qiang. His newest VCDS deal with Reeling Silk and Specialized Chi Kung training. Expert in Chen Tai Chi and Xin Yi Liu He Master Feng always has interesting presentations...

2006, January 14: There are many people, ourselves included, who feel that Yang Style Tai Chi is a great if only partially represented system. We have a number of forms on this site showing aspects considered to be from the "other" branches of Yang Family Tai Chi. The newest we have added id Jiang Jian Ye's "Post Birth" methods, said to be one of Yang Lu Chan's original forms.

2006, January 10: We are in the process of adding a number of new texts on boxing in Chinese. If you would like to check our progress try this new page. Some of these are famous such as Wang Shu Jin's Swimming Body BaGua and some, less so, are just plain charming such as Jin Yi Ming's book on Shaolin.

2006, January 09: We are pleased to add a new feature to our site. Narrye Caldwell, an experienced practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine will be contributing periodic features on martial arts and its relationship to Chinese medical practices. The deep connection shared by these two branches of Chinese culture is often overlooked. This is unfortunate since the addition of medical theory gives a much more meaningful reading to some of the most important aspects of Kung Fu. This debut article deals with a topic known to every martial student: overtraining.

2006, January 08: So we are back. We had ShiFu Linda Darrigo (who appears on our BaGua tapes) over for her birthday. And what did we do? We spend time viewing a new three disk set of DVDs from Lion Books on the art of the White Crane. This is a convention where famous practitioners of the art stand up, read from such classics as our recently issued beautiful boxed set of books, and explain the nature and function of the style. This is accompanied with and compared to some representative Wing Chun Pai styles showing the similarities. Also there is a great section of home movies of "open demonstrations" of the Crane in an almost shamanistic gathering. We'll be posting this one soon. It has some amazing and valuable footage.

2006, January 03: Thinking to take some time off (Plum is still open) we decided to travel to Northern California. The rains have now been flooding out the area for almost a week. We hope we are not responsible. Floods, earthquakes, devastation: the Year of the Rooster has been making everyone wake up uncomfortably. A hard year for some personal relationships, too. Those in the martial arts know there is no cure for trouble but, sometimes, studying this kind of art pays off a little in a certain adaptive acceptance and of course the old ability to "eat bitter." We are planning some great new things for the Year of the Dog expanding our sights into new areas. We've thrown up a new Instructor's notebook with at least one person's viewpoint on how to teach and we have a new article by Gary Shapiro coming down line and a new feature on Chinese medicine and martial arts that will be as "regular" as possible. Enjoy the new year. We've found a place that serves Bison, Elk, Ostrich and Boar burgers, so we're off to a little lunch then a little rainy solitude.

Weblog for 2005?